JR Smith Eyeing NBA Comeback: 'I'm Still Willing and Want to Play Basketball'

Erin WalshDecember 26, 2021

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 04: JR Smith #21 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after a three point basket during the first half against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on October 04, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Two-time NBA champion JR Smith is eyeing an NBA comeback, even if for just 10 days. 

With teams giving out 10-day hardship deals amid the surge in COVID-19 cases across the league, Smith tweeted Saturday that he's still interested in returning to the league: 

JR Smith @TheRealJRSmith

So since we just giving out 10 days to see who wants to play. I’m still willing and want to play basketball. My phone number hasn’t changed. 🤲🏾

The 36-year-old hasn't played in the NBA since the 2019-20 season, when he appeared in six games for the Los Angeles Lakers. In 16 seasons, he averaged 12.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from deep. 

In addition to the Lakers, Smith also played for the Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks and New Orleans Pelicans. 

Smith has since enrolled in college at North Carolina A&T and has been competing on the school's golf team. He made his golf debut in October at Elon's Phoenix Invitational and shot a 12-over-par 83 in Round 1 and a 7-over 78 in Round 2. 

Several players have received opportunities on 10-day contracts this season, including Joe Johnson (Boston Celtics), Isaiah Thomas (Los Angeles Lakers) and Ersan Ilyasova (Chicago Bulls).